Glacier collapse in the mountains of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Photo | 2012-07-30

Glacier collapse on the western side of the Anemaqing mountain. Section of the Glof showing ice wall collapse. In April 2004, a huge snow avalanche took place at about 38 km from Xiadawu township on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. With a combination of rising temperatures brought on by climate change and the geological challenge of steep slope gravity, the glacial tongue of Anemaqing collapsed with such force that it brought down heavy snow and dark moraine making up a large part of the mountain body. The collapse has spread vast quantities of glacial ice and black moraine over 5 km2 of vale and valleys, with worrying consequences. The moraine has created a dam by blocking the valley river and the quickly melting ice has resulted in, within 14 months, a large glacial lake (Glof) which threatens soon to overflow, which could cause the flooding of pasture land and may be of danger to the Xiadawu township of 100 households in valley below.

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